Media Update 9/30/21

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark

I religiously read these books by Alvin Schwartz who drew heavily on folklore and old stories. What really made the books scarier were the illustrations done by Stephen Gammell. This movie is a pastiche of a lot of the stories as a group of teenagers are confronted by a witch who plagues them with scary stories that come true. We get bits and pieces of stories from all three books. Some stories overlap and blend together to create a new twist on old stories while staying true to the original tone. Child actors Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, and Austin Zajur have a lot of good chemistry with each other and are really good as the terrified victims of a curse. The designs of the monsters are basically Gammell’s illustrations come to life and they are so creepy. The movie stays true to the original books with its dark tone with a bit of redemption. I recommend this movie.

Nightbooks

This movie is about a young boy who gets captured by a witch and forced to tell her a scary story every night in what felt like a mix between a modern 1001 Nights and Hansel and Gretel. What drew me to this movie was the presence of Krysten Ritter. She was appropriately wicked and charming as the witch, a mysterious character who was too fun to watch. Child actor Winslow Fegley is very cute and plucky as the movie’s central hero. He is soon joined by child actor Lidya Jewett who is such a strong actress with a bit of attitude. The production design of the movie was so good with the design of the magical apartment and Ritter’s costumes being the high points. The movie is charming with just a handful of frights but a nice spooky Halloween tone and feel. I recommend this movie.

Scare Me

This movie could have very easily been a play. Two writers have rented separate cabins in the Catskills but the power goes out and they are bored. They get together to trade off telling each other scary stories and acting them out as well. The standout is actress Aya Cash who has such great sarcastic yet joyful energy in her performance. Josh Ruben (who also wrote and directed the movie) is really good at being grumpy yet eager to please. I also really appreciated the small part done by Chris Redd. I am fascinated that this movie did not drag at all even with most of it just being two people talking. It felt like a horror episode of Who’s Line is it Anyway? The movie is endlessly interesting and I actually would really like seeing some of the stories as movies down the line. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

KIT – Your Ghost

Amaranthe – 365

Lana Del Rey – Season of the Witch (cover)

Poppy – Time Is Up

Mashup of the Week

kjm015 – Bring Me to This Love

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Scary Stories”
I watched tons of YouTube and Twitch
I watched more Titans Season 3
I watched the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark documentary

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